The Plastic Hippo

February 17, 2011

A voice in the wilderness

Filed under: Media,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 11:25 pm

The news that The YamYam is to cease publication has caused understandable dismay in the burgeoning Walsall online community and is especially melancholic for this humble blog. Without The YamYam, this blog would have a readership of one and only read once just to check for spelling and typing errors.

Even if it concentrated simply on collating local news, The YamYam would be the envy of any town inadequately “served” by failing, traditional news media. One need only pick up a copy of the woeful Express and Star to see that local newspapers are doomed. The other day, the print version of the E&S ran an important front page story about the future of Bryntysilio, a place of relevance for thousands of Walsall children past, present and future. It did not appear on the E&S online news feed. The YamYam picked it up later not from a news report, but from a letter to the Advertiser.

If this vigilance in directing readers to local news was not enough, The YamYam links to sport and business stories. Where else would a fan of Bloxwich United find a match report of a 3 – 1 away defeat to Tividale FC and where else would you discover that Walsall has the highest percentage of empty retail premises in the West Midlands.

But, and declaring a personal interest, it is the comment section that gives The YamYam the edge over old media. All manner of raving lunatics are allowed to vent their spleen including councillors, lefties, righties, worms, pigs, edible fungi, old baggages, cycling gods from Brownhills and even a polypropylene river horse. Here, again, The YamYam has the advantage as most of the rants, rages and ridicule are, with the exception of the plastic migrant from Botswana, articulate, informative, intelligent, entertaining and passionate. Compare this to the real crack-pots who write letters to the local printed press. Why oh why oh why. It’s disgusting.

The sadness at the passing of The YamYam is not, however, universal. Clearly the established press will be pleased to see the back of this upstart, accusing such sites of plagiarism and ignoring the levels of traffic being directed to their own websites. Other will no doubt crow that online news sites will always fail because they cannot make money. Perhaps not today, but the Murdoch’s of this world are looking over their shoulders and shuddering. The future is not behind a pay wall.

Far from being sad, the incompetents who rule Walsall will celebrate the end of The YamYam. With an ineffective political opposition, the comment section offered the only channel for challenge and criticism of the small group of men and women who are ruining this town. They hate being held to internet account.

If aliens, lurking beyond the dark side of the moon are watching us and monitoring our internet traffic, even a quick look at the main page of The YamYam will give them an accurate description of Walsall. Try it for yourself and imagine that you lived far, far away. With The YamYam gone, the little green men will have to rely on the council website, patronising tweets from the council press office and the ridiculous What’s On Walsall to paint a picture of the borough.

The YamYam was our last defence against the death rays.

Adieu YamYam, and thank you.

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9 Comments »

  1. Thank you Hippo for putting into words how so many of us feel. We are losing something that is very precious and very needed. I understand completely why The YamYam is to be no more; it must take up incredible amounts of time to produce and publish and a living has to be made…but not yet in on line publishing. As one that doesn’t manage that many blogs because of commitments I appreciate just how much life time The YamYam must have taken up.
    I twittered yesterday that I was devastated. A strong word and emotion but so very true. I feel as though I am losing a friend.
    I guess it is up to bloggers, tweeters, facebookers etc to keep the spirit of The YamYam alive by trying to keep local issues alive and kicking and publicised.
    We have a hard act to follow.

    Comment by Linda — February 17, 2011 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brownhills Bob, The Edditer and Stuart Williams, The Plastic Hippo. The Plastic Hippo said: A voice in the wilderness http://wp.me/pKp3x-hZ [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention A voice in the wilderness « The Plastic Hippo -- Topsy.com — February 18, 2011 @ 12:10 am | Reply

  3. [...] comment on the front page Comment in brief 17 Feb 10 Bob Piper RIP The YamYam The Plastic Hippo A voice in the wilderness Cllr Ian Shires Pickles in a pickle after making another gaffe Ian Robathan, Advertiser Fears for [...]

    Pingback by Comment in brief « The YamYam Walsall — February 18, 2011 @ 1:09 am | Reply

  4. [...] One of the delights gained from visiting the soon-to-be-no-more The YamYam has been watching the development of The Plastic Hippo. Here’s the Hippo’s tribute to The YamYam. [...]

    Pingback by Going… Going…. | Councillor Bob Piper — February 18, 2011 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  5. Save our Yam Yam. Is it worth all of us Walsall bloggers getting together with Mark, preferably in one of Walsall’s fine hostelries, and have a chat with him to see if there is anything we can do to help him and keep the Yam Yam going? I think Ken Towe would let us use the Sally Anne’s Bar in the Lyndon House Hotel, I could organise it with him.

    Comment by Derek Bennett — February 18, 2011 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Derek, a good idea. I fear, though, that because of a series of unfortunate misunderstandings, the hippo is barred not just from the Lyndon House establishment, but most other Walsall hostelries as well. The one mile exclusion zone around all breweries is still in place.

      However, I think the idea of a trust has legs, unlike the hippo after a night in Sally Anne`s Bar.

      Comment by theplastichippo — February 18, 2011 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  6. Agree with all of your comments. I dont have to imagine that I am far away from Walsall, I am ( yam?). I left many a year ago, and like many others, stumbled across The Yam Yam by accident on Facebook ( about a year ago). What a wonderful and eclectic link to so much wonderful, silly, blooming stupid, sometimes funny, but always informative ‘stuff’ that was and is and will be the areas covered by the Yam Yam. Like so many will have already said…I will miss it!!

    Comment by Alan Dixon — February 18, 2011 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  7. [...] And Mark, thank you. You’re a star. The news that The YamYam is to cease publication has caused understandable dismay in the burgeoning Walsall online community and is especially melancholic for this humble blog. Without The YamYam, this blog would have a readership of one and only read once just to check for spelling and typing errors. Even if it concentrated simply on collating local news, The YamYam would be the envy of any town inadequately “served” by failing, traditional news … Read More [...]

    Pingback by A voice in the wilderness (via The Plastic Hippo) « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog — February 18, 2011 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  8. [...] the meantime, another of Mark’s workshop projects, The Plastic Hippo, has said loads of stuff that I’d like to have said, but wouldn’t have been able to. Read his post, and think [...]

    Pingback by A voice in the wilderness (via The Plastic Hippo) « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog — February 18, 2011 @ 10:12 pm | Reply


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